The Impact of Keke Napep as Poverty Alleviation Strategy
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of the study is to examine the impact of KEKE NAPEP as poverty alleviation strategy in Ojokoro Local Government Area of Lagos State. The specific objectives are:
(i) To determine if there is improvement in the economic well-being of the operators in the study area or not.
(ii) To determine the suitability of working environment for KEKE NAPEP in the study area.
(iii) To determine whether the average revenue of operators is influenced by the period of operation or not.
(iv) To identify the various costs incurred by the operators in the study area.
LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAME WORK
The need to distribute the world’s resources more equitably has been the concern of government and international organizations. Inequity in the distribution of the world’s wealth has created the condition of poverty, which is present in every part of the world to varying degrees.
We prefer the term alleviation rather than eradication because it is not feasible to eradicate poverty as expressed by Grosh.”Despite the long-run poverty alleviation strategies implemented, poverty will remain with the sick, poor and those in the poorest regions who would not take advantage of adequate earning opportunities. Others will remain poor due to temporary set back of seasonal variations in incomes, loss of farm, loss of breadwinner, famine or macroeconomic stock” 1
A poor man in a least developed country – and his problem runs into millions – suffers from poor nutrition. He is vulnerable to diseases. His average life span is short. He lives in huts where squalor perpetually surrounds him, he is illiterate both in letter and skill. He does not get his meals regularly, but when he does, he is haunted with the fear of where his next meal will come from. He is clad in rags, if at all. He walks without a pair of shoes. Lack of hygiene, minimal food, or contagious diseases have inflicted some scars on his body. He lives mostly in villages – remote and inaccessible to the rest of the world – or in slums or shantytowns. The water he drinks is neither safe nor clean. He is either unemployed or underemployed. But when he is employed he is overworked and underpaid.
He suffers from apathy and ignominy. From birth to death he remains a destitute. Usually he dies an infant, but if he does survive, dearth and want haunt him to his end. Flood, famine, drought, and other natural disasters continually plague him. If he is a villager, he may be landless; if he is a town-dweller, he rarely has a roof over his head. When the price goes up, the quality and quantity of his food goes down, because his income can no longer buy him the food he needs. His wife, if she is pregnant, can only have a worse fate.
He cannot buy books for his children or pay fees for the school, let alone the toolbox he would love to buy for them to make their ends meet. When he falls ill, he cannot pay fees to a doctor, nor can he buy the medicine for himself let alone getting better amenities of life on these crises. He can neither read nor afford to buy a newspaper; a radio transistor is a luxury to him, many of his kin never see a bicycle. Starvation and death stare him at his face as in medieval times. Indeed, for him, times have not changed since the Dark Ages. And as though these afflictions were not enough, it is he – and this is the greatest irony of all-who gives birth to the largest number of children, thus spreading and multiplying misery to a dark universe of destitution. When death comes to him finally, he seems to be happier than those he has left behind him.
I speak of a destitute at length not merely because this occasion places on me the special obligation to speak for him, but even more, because his story is perpetrated on a scale and dimension that indeed is tragic in view of what man can do for man and yet is not done… Let us resolve to work together, to work with the people and governments of the less-developed world, to help the poor man out of his poverty.2
Reducing poverty is now regarded by many as the most important goal of human development. Indeed, it is now widely believed that at its core, development must be about improvement of human well – being, removal of hunger, disease and ignorance and productive employment for all. Its first goal must be to end poverty and satisfy the priority needs of all people in a way that will not jeopardize the opportunity for the future generations to attain the same objective. Forty years after independence, poverty remains one of the most pressing issues in Nigerian development. It has not only become entrenched and multi faceted over decades, but has also continued to elude efforts made at eradicating it.
The purpose of this chapter is to review relevant literature to the subject of the study. In this vein the chapter examines the concept of poverty, indicators of poverty and how it is measured with a view to understanding its nature and implication for the poor, the causes of poverty alleviation as well as some approaches to poverty alleviation are examined with a view to understanding poverty reduction measures.
Poverty is a multi – dimensional concept with no single universally accepted definition. In other words there are different perspectives from which the term can be defined. Odumosu has identified 3 broad concepts or dimensions of poverty. These are:-
- Poverty as subsistence
- Poverty as inequality
- Externality concept of poverty
- Subsistence is concerned with the minimum of provisions needed to maintain health and working capacity. The subsistence definition described poverty objectively as lack of income needed to acquire the minimum necessity of life. Those who lack the necessities to sustain life are described as poor. However, there are difficulties in determining what constitutes “minimum” which should be the dividing line separating the poor from the non poor.
- Inequality is concerned with the relative position of income groups to each other. Poverty cannot be understood in isolating the poor and treating them as a special group. Society is seen as a series of stratified income layers and poverty is concerned with how the bottom layers fare in relation to the society as a whole. Inequality is determined by studying the living standard of the rich in relation to the poor.
- The externality concept of poverty is concerned with the social consequence of poverty for the rest of the society rather than in terms of the need of the poor. According to this concept, people must not be allowed to become so poor that they offend or are hurtful to the society. It is not so much the misery and plight of the poor but the discomfort and cost to the community (crime and disease), which is crucial. There is a problem of poverty to the extent that low income creates problem for those who are not poor. Poverty then consists of social problems correlated with income. To improve the level of living of the poor without reducing disutility to the rest of the community is sufficient.4
Atkinson contributing to the inequality concept of poverty gives the general meaning of inequality to refer to “case where income and wealth are simply different”. He argued that in order to assess the implication of the differences in income, it is necessary to establish first, that people involved are comparable in other relevant respect.
The definition of “relevant” is a mater of social judgement, but he lists some important factors to include the following.
- Resources and Need: The flow of income received by an individual or the amount he consumes has to be viewed in relation to his needs, as represented by such considerations as age, the size of his family and his health. The distribution of income and wealth has therefore to be assessed in the light of individual’s differences in needs.
- Tastes and choices: Individuals differ in their tastes with regards to work, Savings and risk taking. People with same opportunities may make different decisions leading to disparities in observed income or wealth. A person may prefer a job with low earnings, but short working hours and little responsibility, while another may prefer to work for longer hours and earn more. Invariably that person that works for longer hours and earns more will save more wealth on retirement than one who prefers to consume the little he has.
Area of study
The area of study is Ojokoro Local Government Area of Lagos State., Nigeria. Lagos State was one of the oldest states created in Nigeria and former capital of Nigeria, as one of the first of twelve states to replace the nation’s three regions and Ojokoro is a local government in the state. The total land mass of Lagos State today is more than 3,577 (km2) square kilometers. The state is known as the State of Harmony on account of the peaceful co-existence among its multicultural, religious and diverse population of over 9 million, according to the last population census in the country by National Population Commission (NPC), 2006 albeit the current population of the state is more than this figure. The state has 20 local government areas, LGAs. The main economic livelihood of the inhabitants in the state comprises of agriculture, civil service and trading.
Survey research method was adopted in this study. According to Aina and Ajiferike (2002) survey research involves a systematic and comprehensive collection of information about opinions, attitudes, feelings, beliefs and behaviors of the people. In study the impact of KEKE- NAPEP on alleviation of poverty, In survey research, since only the opinions of subjects were analyzed without any manipulation of independent variables.
Method of data analysis
For this present study both primary and secondary data were employed. Primary data were collected through questionnaire and discussion was equally used with the beneficiaries of the Keke-Napep project. Paired-samples t-test was employed to answer the research question and hypothesis of the study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND RESULT
Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents
The relevant demographic characteristics of the keke-napep operators are investigated and presented in table 1 below.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Keke-napep project/operation is a proper instrument for poverty alleviation in the area of study. The study showed that most operators of keke-napep in ojokoro LGA of Lagos state benefited significantly from their involvement coupled with evident improvement in their standard of living via increase in their income earned, although there are some constraints to this operation such as mode of payment as well as lacking access to loan by the operators.
The followings are recommended to enhance the project/operation of keke-napep thus reducing poverty level in the state.
Government ought to assist more in the area of mode of payment so that it can be ease for the operators to complete their payment for the tricycle, part of what that can be done is to provide sufficient loan/credit facility with relatively low rate of interest to the operators.
Banks should also be encouraged more in the sponsorship of keke-napep project/operation in the study area likewise individuals should be encouraged to take part in the business of keke-napep tricycle intra-city transportation.
Government should also establish proper training centres for the operators of keke-napep couple with accessible and motorable road network so that more passengers would have confidence and safe in using them as a mean of local transportation in the study area.
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